Weather Talk: Subzero temperatures have a bad rap
Subzero temperatures receive an unrealistic amount of attention. Just because a temperature reading has a minus sign in front of the number is no reason to send it into mystic status. A temperature of -1°F is 33 degrees below freezing, which in terms of human comfort, is unequivocally cold. But is -1°F that much colder than 1°F?
Furthermore, the 10 degrees between -5°F degrees and 5°F degrees is the same as the difference between 85°F and 95°F. A 10-degree difference is the same difference, no matter where it is on the scale.
Daniel Fahrenheit's 18th-century invention of the Fahrenheit scale placed 0° and 100° at the approximate extreme limits of his western European climate. This standard, which lingers in the United States despite being replaced by the Celsius scale in the most of the known universe, forces the minus sign on any temperature colder than zero, which has the effect of falsely illuminating those temperatures. A temperature of -1°F looks much colder than a temperature of 1°F, yet the difference is not noticeable.